Several websites define an ambidentate ligand as being monodentate. What about a ligand with say 3 atoms that can act as donor atoms, but due to the sterics of the ligand, only any two atoms can coordinate bond to an acceptor at any one time?

  • $\begingroup$ I don't really get your point there. "Ambidenticity" has little usefulness, pretty much only for simplest ligands. There are molecules able to coordinate in so many places that nobody counts. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Feb 10 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ If two atoms of the species can coordinate bond then the species is bidentate. A ligand is ambidentate if only one of two possible atoms can form a ligand, eg the linear $\ce{NCS^-}$ anion. There is no specific name for a ligand which is physically constrained so that only two of three possible ligand sites can bind. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Feb 10 at 23:51

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